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Auschwitz Museum upset at scene in Amazon series "Hunters"

Last Updated Feb 24, 2020 at 11:34 am EDT

People arrive for commemorations at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. Survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp gathered for commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet army's liberation of the camp, using the testimony of survivors to warn about the signs of rising anti-Semitism and hatred in the world today.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland — The museum of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp is objecting to a scene in a new Amazon TV series that shows a murderous game of human chess being played there, insisting that no such thing took place at the camp.

The museum that guards the Auschwitz-Birkenau site in southern Poland, its historic facts and the memory of the victims tweeted about the scene in Amazon’s series “Hunters.” It said inventing fake scenes is “dangerous foolishness and caricature,” encourages Holocaust deniers and is disrespectful of the camp’s more than 1 million victims. Most of the victims were Europe’s Jews. They died in the camp’s gas chambers or from starvation, disease and forced labour.

Museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki said Monday that authors and artists have a special obligation to tell the truth about Auschwitz, and that the “Hunters” authors did not contact the museum for facts.

“If anyone wants to show human tragedy in Auschwitz it is enough to reach for the thousands of sources (survivors’ testimonies) that are deeply shocking, but creating fiction that distorts the history of this real place is disrespectful of the people who suffered here,” Sawicki told The Associated Press.

He said the museum is always willing to provide factual advice to anyone studying or working on Auschwitz history.

“Hunters” is about a postwar hunt in New York for Nazi war criminals. It includes a scene where inmates are figures in a chess game and are killed when they are taken off the chessboard.

“This is false. There was no such thing,” Sawicki said.

Nazi Germans operated Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1940-45 when they occupied Poland. Emotional, international observances with the participation of survivors were held last month in Oswiecim to mark 75 years since the Soviet army liberated the camp.

Monika Scislowska, The Associated Press